Spies in state-owned enterprises: 1937 in 2021

    At least 14 factory workers were detained this week. Some were released after interrogation, five were sent to the pre-trial detention center under the State Security Committee. Both currently employed and dismissed workers of Grodno Azot, Belarusian Steel Works (BMZ) and the Belarusian Railways were detained. Some of them are charged with high treason and face between 7 and 15 years in prison.

    One might think that the pressure on the factory workers is connected with the statements of the opponents of the authorities concerning the impending strike. However, the words of Lukashenko during a meeting with the Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Industry, give reason to think that this refers to charges of espionage.

    “I have information that a few scoundrels are still somewhere there. And they aim to inform the collective West of the way Parkhomchik and Nazarov are trying to circumvent the sanctions. Well, they in fact spy and pass information there. We have identified several of them. We will put them in jail for a long term I’m making it clear. Nevertheless, we must know them”, Lukashenko said.

    One can hardly imagine that an ordinary worker possesses confidential data and knows how his director will evade sanctions.

    “Many years ago, I myself worked as a maintenance foreman at Azot. I had absolutely no secret data, with the possible exception of information concerning the mechanical condition of my equipment, and what kind of German pump we have repaired or not. I think this is another wave of intimidation. They need to show that the special services control everything in the world. Now I understand that there are no rights at all. They can come to your workplace, pick you up and accuse you of being a traitor to the Motherland”, says the Deputy Chairman of the Belarusian Congress of Democratic Trade Unions (BKDP) Siarhei Antusevich.